Mar 26, 2013

Scrappy Vegetable Stock

Wait! Stop! Don’t throw away those veggie scraps. You can make your own delicious vegetable stock so easily and for NO money! I can’t believe I never thought of this before. I came across a post on another vegan blog site where someone featured this simple idea.

We go through a LOT of produce in my kitchen. So last week I started saving every scrap of vegetable… ends of carrots, onion skins, celery strings, kale stems, you name it. The only thing you wouldn’t want in your scrap bag is potatoes or corn. They would not work for stock in my opinion. Being so starchy they could create a milkiness and a thickness that would not be appealling. Also be careful of adding anything with a lot of overpowering flavor such as fennel or asparagus. And avoid beet scraps unless you want a bright red stock. 
Anyway, within one week I had this huge bag full of scraps. When I started doing this I found myself unconsciously throwing away scraps. It took a while to get into the habit of saving them. I even put a little post-it note on my trash can… “NO SCRAPS” to remind myself. With my new garden underway, soon I will be composting them as well!

So here is my one-week bag o’ scrap:

To make the stock simply save your scraps in a one-gallon ziplock bag in the freezer. When it’s full, put the scraps into a large pot.

Cover with water and simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain and you’re done! I actually strained mine twice. Once with a medium sized strainer into a large bowl and the second time using a finer mesh strainer directly into one-quart canning jars.

I find when I put anything that’s really hot into a canning jar, it will seal itself. The lid sucks in like when you’re actually canning. Of course, it won’t last as long and I put my jars in the fridge, too. It’s a great technique for storing soup also if you make a large batch.

One other thing—don’t use old, wilted or otherwise yucky vegetables just because you’re making stock. The veggies should still be fresh! You can season your stock if you like. I prefer to leave mine plain so I can choose my seasoning depending on how I’m using the stock.

If you make a lot of soups, like I do, it won’t take you long to go through a gallon of vegetable stock, which is what I got out of my scraps.

Yeah, it’s all good.

3 responses to “Scrappy Vegetable Stock”

  1. Anonymous says:

    am going to use this tip wonderful idea
    thanks Pamela

  2. We do this too, and have for years. We also have a 5 gallon bucket with a lid for compost in the kitchen, and I put in scraps of non-organic veggies in that. I don't want pesticides in my broth from things like onion skins! We try to only use organic veggies from our CSA, our own garden and stores, but there are times with 5 kids and a tight budget that we just have conventional produce. In those cases, I would rather compost those scraps. I've found that some of the best veggies for broth are carrot ends, garlic and onion peels, red pepper scraps and herbs. Don't bother with things in the cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) as it's too powerful and does not give a good flavor. I use those extras for other uses (here's my list of how to make use of all of the parts of produce, even corn cobs! Love your blog, BTW!

  3. Helyn says:

    Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Alicia!!

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